The Girl On The Train
Directed by: Tate Taylor
Starring: Emma Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Edgar Ramirez, Allison Janney
Rachel is a young, alcoholic divorcee who travels to Manhattan every day by train, a journey which takes her right past her old house where her ex husband still resides, with his new wife Anna and their baby daughter. In order to stop fixating on her old life, Rachel instead turns her attention to another young couple a few doors down. When the young woman, Megan, goes missing, Rachel thinks she may have seen something related to her disappearance but had suffered another alcohol-induced blackout. What had she seen, and how much is she herself involved?
Based on Paula Hawkins' bestseller novel, The Girl On The Train is a strong if pulpy mystery.
Emma Blunt is very good as Rachel, a very damaged young woman whose actions throughout the film (seen in flash-back as well as the present) play with how much the audience is willing to sympathize with her situation - so much so that we really aren't sure if she's not capable of what the police believe she's done (a very good Allison Janney as the detective).
The film doesn't just follow Rachel, it also delves into the lives of both Megan and Anna (in this regard I was reminded of Gone Girl) to give us a much more textured narrative than you'd expect. There are a lot of secrets floating around, lots of interesting nuggets of information to be discovered.
Obviously, those who've read the book will know the culprit but the film does a good job of hiding the person's identity for much of the film, throwing a number of red herrings our way to keep us guessing. However there comes a point where we are over-saturated with clues that will only point to one person. And even then, the actual reveal of the murder remains quite shocking.
This is a lot longer than it probably needs to be and it does take a while to really get to cruising speed, but once Rachel wakes up after the night before, we're off and running with Rachel and her amateur sleuthing, and wondering if she's going to like what she finds out about herself.
7 out of 10 (MIkeOutWest)